Annual Awards Nominations

Now Open!

The Canadian Peony Society Lifetime Achievement Award

This prestigious award recognizes members who have contributed to the Canadian Peony Society and peony world in a variety of ways – as a volunteer, grower, leader, ambassador, author, writer or innovator. The nominee must be a current member of the Canadian Peony Society to be considered for this award.

NEW - The John Simkins Memorial Hybridizer Award

The CPS is delighted to announce the introduction of this new award

It is our hope that this award encourages and draws attention to hybridizing activity in Canada and shines a spotlight on uniquely Canadian plants, their creators, and the process of creation. Eligibility for this award is not limited to those carrying out willful hand pollinated crosses in the strictest sense, but also open to those growing peonies from seed, be it from their plants or other sources. Also eligible are those promoting hybridizing activities and sharing educational content. This distinction can be awarded posthumously.

This award is named in honour of John Simkins, the founder of the CPS and its first president, who sold seedlings in small plastic seedlings for $1 to connect others with the magical experience of growing never before seen plants; many of these seedlings were shared far and wide and sent overseas. 

Nominate Today!

Do you have the perfect candidate in mind for one or both of these annual awards?

Send nominations to Darlene Kalawsky, Awards Chair, by Thursday April 4, 2024.


Mary Pratte 2004-2006

Mary Pratte
I imagine we are all familiar with the old bromide about dogs and their owners, and I wonder if it can also be said that plants and their experts eventually grow to resemble each other? After meeting Mary Pratte, peony expert, I’m prepared to make the case. Whoever has seen the peony – a quintessential sign of summer’s arrival in our town – gracing gardens with its sunny, bright, open flower faces, will recognize Mary.

There is also the question of determina- tion and perseverance. Peonies don’t give up easily and neither does Mary. She has used these qualities to transform numerous peony collections, including the wonderful collection at the Central Experimental Farm.

Peony Pioneer of the Month

Marvin Balfour

Congratulations to CPS for its 25th anniversary! I have been a member since 2000 and had participated as a member of the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2015 as Treasurer. My first peonies were acquired at a bargain sale at Simpsons-Sears in early December of 1989. For $10 I had gotten 32 peony roots (5 varieties) plus an assortment of summer bulbs and bulbs for
forcing. I became aware of the establishment of CPS in 1998 and within 2 years I had become a member.

In 2003, because I had had experience as treasurer of a number of other gardening organizations, I volunteered to replace the CPS’ initial treasurer. Little that I know that I would be in this position until 2015. Being treasurer is a pivotal position on any board as it involves not only to maintaining the financial books but also becoming an active participant in the governing of the organization.

Prosperity Maud announcement photo credit Kate Lynn Clark
Photo by Kate Lynn Clark

Peony of the Year 2023

Prosperity Maud

For the first time in the history of the Canadian Peony Society's Peony of the Year, we invited our valued members to cast their votes. We are delighted to share that, even though this is an ongoing effort, the response has been truly heartening. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part in the selection of the 2024 Peony of the Year. 

It brings us immense joy to unveil the winner, Prosperity Maud—a captivating peachy herbaceous hybrid bred by the late Maurice Ménard, and notably, chosen for the first time through the collective voice of our members.


Dutch Girl Peonies

5254 Queen Victoria Road Beasley, BC V0G 2G2
Tel. 250 359-7142

Dutch Girl Peonies

Dutch Girl Peonies
click image to view larger

My husband and I have lived on a 300-acre farm above the Kootenay River for over 46 years. During this 46-year period we have milked cows, made cheese, sold milk, raised chickens, cows, and pigs. Our dream was to be full time farmers, but this didn’t pan out and we ended up settling for part-time farming and careers while raising our three children.

Coming from Dutch heritage I have always had a deep-seated love of flowers. As a busy mother I never had much time for flower gardening but one thing I noticed was that the peonies always bloomed no matter how much I neglected them! The blooms were beautiful and fragrant! I was sold on peonies!

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

Support The Society

Support the Canadian Peony Society. Click the "Donate" button below. Enter the amount you wish to donate in Canadian dollars. You have the option of paying using any major credit card or by Paypal.

Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
4338 Line 26
St. Pauls, ON N0K 1V0